This Trucker's Wife
by Jennifer S
My Truck Driving Husband, doing what he does best! (yea that is me the pic on the dash board)
When my husband and I first married, I never could have imagined him wanting to be a truck driver. When he came to me and told me he wanted to drive truck I was floored. We had a beautiful marriage. One that most people would love to have. Loving, open, giving, romantic, and most of all best friends.
I thought it would be just a "short term" situation. The economy where we live is horrid. the best paying jobs that are available where less than 10.00 an hour. With the rising cost of living, and the low pay we had been drowning for years.
Despite my hesitation, I looked around at the truck driving schools, and found one that we could get him into.
He started school, and I watched him getting excited about something for the first time in our marriage. Not walking with his head hung, and his eyes showing the signs of defeat that he felt for so long. I shuddered and only listened half-heartedly as he spoke of his training and his plans for the future.
The day neared, and he graduated. Next came the announcement and the company he was going to work for. It was long haul, and I had to be away from him for 3 months, no promise of getting home in the mean time (during his training period).
I remember the night before he left, as if it was yesterday. I laid in the tub crying, realizing that this was it. I was going to be faced with being a "single wife." I cried, and begged him to not go. I did not think I had the fortitude to go on with the day-to-day activities that it would take to be a "Drivers wife."
He went, and mean while I received a crash course in "single-wifehood". It was difficult, dealing with 4 children, bills, problems, all the "day to day" activities fell on me. It was not long before he found that the "long haul" was not for him.
He came home, and I was relieved, again believing it was "out of his system" and he and I would continue where we left off.
With in a week, he took a job with a local regional company--again my fears started coming back, Would I lose him to some local tramp at a truck stop--the fear that I think most wives have. Or to a horrid accident due to driving while fatigued.
So many of the "stories" that you hear about truck drivers flashed through my mind..the lot lizards, the lonely drivers looking to fill voids. Was I one of the slim amount of women who could handle having this type of marriage-- I was not sure.
It was tough- and in some ways it still is. The jump start into understanding what my husband was doing came after his 60 day training period, when he could then take passengers. I got to go with him approximately 2 weeks a month.
My insight, and appreciation for what he did for a living, finally began to surface. He was a "flat bedder". It was the middle of winter when I went with him. The things I saw both scared me, and gave me a great deal of respect for drivers.
My very first trip was in February, we were talking steel to Buffalo New York, and the snow began to fall. I crawled in the sleeper and fell asleep quickly, at that time it was just flurrying.
When I woke up, I started to crawl upfront to spend some time with him. It was about 4am. I pulled the curtain to walk up front when I looked out the window, I felt my skin crawl. The snow was coming down so hard that you truly could not see the road. In what seemed like a distance (but was likely only 10 feet) you could barely make out the glow of the red taillights from the truck in front of us. You could see nothing of the road that was actually a fairly large interstate. There were no "sides" of the road to be seen other than what the drivers where calling cat-of-nine tails--those being the stick reflectors on the side of the road. That was how these men where judging where the road was. Rough for sure.
In that same trip, we ended up going to Philly. I again experienced a life changing situation. While going around Philly, we saw the back of a truck that had literally been ripped off, and a body laying on the side of the road. In this situation, a man (sleepy) did not see the box truck that was stopped along the interstate--he smashed into the truck, taking of at least 1/2 of the box truck, sending a long piece of the box trucks supporting metal into the windshield piercing the man in the chest.
Good news, No one was fatally injured. However, what it did was make me realize the dangers my husband faced, and the job that he did.
It was not long until I started thinking about everything I owned. All transported by---- you got it---trucks. Each item that you are looking at, your coffee cup--your coffee---your monitor, your keyboard, your desk. All have been carried to and from by way of Trucks. It is our men--and women that are responsible for what you sleep on, what you wear, what you eat, and what you drink.
I did a lot of growing up in that time. I looked at a beautiful marriage, and decided YES, I can be a truckers wife. A loving one. One that understands---the only "female" he is going to have is the Big White woman with the screaming turbo's, and 18 wheels. It is not easy, I miss him terribly when he is not home.
I understand--and have experienced the first had worry, insecurities, and unknowings. It is not easy--it is difficult. But if you BELIEVE in your man (or woman) and understand--there is very VERY little time for "socializing" outside of a little bs on the radio, or a simple hello in a truck stop to a cute waitress (if there are any to be seen.)
Granted, there are those truckers out there that will screw around on their wives, and lot lizards looking to make money--but it is ultimately your JOB as a truckers wife to give him all he needs and more if you want HIM to come home to YOU.
If your bitchy, harping, and non-understanding, that lot lizard will look better and better to him. Give him a reason to come home. A loving wife, a clean house, a hot tub, and a great meal.